Art, Life, Faith in Triptych

During the Art, Life, Faith gathering in November, Kanako Mizojiri quietly sat against a wall and drew. Her impromptu triptych on paper plates beautifully captured the whole scene and illustrated the importance of community. Can you tell which one is me? (Answer at bottom)

(Answer: Third picture up. Middle person on couch.)


Hiroshima: QU4RTETS, Organ, and Tap Dance

I was honored to be invited to join in the Qua4tets exhibit at Hiroshima City University on November 12, 2015.

How do we respond to man-made tragedy in this world? The exhibit sought answers from T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets (World War 2), atomic bombing of Hiroshima (Ground Zero), and 9.11. The program consisted of a music performance of Christopher Theofanidis' "At the still point..." by members of the Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra, a talk by Jeremy Begbie, and a panel discussion with Mako Fujimura & Bruce Herman. At the end, I collaborated on the organ with tap dancer Andrew Nemr.

Wisps of blue stream across the darkness. Borders of gold hint at hope, expectation of what is to come. "Quartet II" (2012) by Makoto Fujimura.

Art students from the university played a huge role in arranging the evening.

A moving visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum afterward. The contents of this lunch box were charred to a crisp in the backpack of a child.

The famous A-Bomb Dome left as a memorial from the blast.


Liberty Music on Radio

Listen to selections of L.A. Talk Radio last month, when Guy Towe interviewed Virginia Lavallee and Jordan Foxwell of Ishinomaki Christian Center. Virginia and Jordan did a great job of explaining the significance of the Liberty Music Project in reaching reaching children in the disaster area of Japan through music.


Fall Festival in Tsukuda

On October 31, we helped host a fall festival with Grace Harbor Project in the park just outside our apartment building. We had over a hundred people come, with a lot of great fun and conversations on that day and since.

I love playing outside, as you can tell from this video clip...

Making caramel apples...

Ring toss...

Face painting...

Sticking hands in the mystery boxes... (that's Abi with white wig dressed as Storm)



In September, I traveled to Berlin and spoke at the Green Hill Gallery about "ART IN EMERGENCY," the role artists can and should be play in emergencies.

After sharing stories about the arts in the relief effort in Northeast Japan, the room was opened up to a great discussion by Berlin artists about what can be done to address the needs of the war-torn refugees from Syria, who are pouring into Berlin.

Connecting with an artist afterwards through the keyboard.

While in Berlin, I also ran the Berlin Marathon...while wearing a white back brace. I was coming down a ladder in the rain when the ladder slipped. I fell on my back directly on top of a sharp rock. When Abi ran over, I told her I was fine, then proceeded to pass out! A few men dragged me to their car and then eventually got me to a couch. I lived with that brace for over two months.

Those of you who thought I was crazy or stupid, well...you're right! Here's the proof! Despite the pain and the fact that I was not able to run at all for over a month before the marathon, I was determined to run (or walk...or crawl...) to the finish line. I stopped at least once an hour for long stretching episodes and much more frequently for light stretching of my back...trying to prevent serious injury. Every time I stopped, people rushed over and asked "Are you okay? Are you okay?" They were very kind.

Here I am at the Brandenburg Gate just before the finish line. I don't look quite so energetic, but it looks like I'm going to make it! And, while I won't tell you my time, you can see from this picture that there was at least one person behind me. I should put a caption on this picture: "Never Give Up!"


4 Boys & Dad Climb Mt. Myoko

While my wife was away, Aidan (12), Eastin (9), Coen (6), Kaizen (2), and I climbed Mt. Myoko on a 3 day/2 night camping trip.

Scene from top of Mt. Myoko
Five of us on peak of Mt. Myoko
Beautiful path
The staunch hikers
Field of flowers in the spring
Where did the land go?!
Kaizen walked a lot of the way, which is one reason it took three days!
Drank the water from this small mountain lake
Kaizen looks so little in the wild
Kaizen at the edge of the world!


Toccata & Fugue in D Minor

A video someone took during the July 18, 2015 Gospel Festival on their iPhone.